Yellow Sea, Battle of

(1904)
   A major naval battle of the Russo-Japanese War. As Japanese forces closed on Port Arthur, Czar Nicholas II ordered the Russian fleet to break out and sail to Vladivostok to join the Russian warships there. Commanded by Admiral Wilgelm Vitgeft, the Russian fleet of 6 battleships, 3 cruisers, and 14 smaller ships sortied on August 10, 1904. Admiral Heihachiro Togo’s larger Japanese fleet intercepted the Russians, and Japan’s 4 modern battleships and 11 cruisers dominated the battle. Japanese shells shattered the bridge of the Tsesarevich, killing Vitgeft. The Russian fleet fell into confusion and fled in disorder. The pursuing Japanese sank only one Russian cruiser. Five battleships and most of the smaller ships evaded the Japanese and returned to Port Arthur. Two cruisers and the heavily damaged Tsesarevich escaped to neutral ports. Japan’s strategic victory trapped the Russian fleet in Port Arthur and ensured Japanese control of the seas for the duration of the war.
   See also <>; <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Corbett, J. S. Maritime Operation in the Russo-Japanese War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995;
    Jukes, Geoffrey. The Russo-Japanese War, 1904-5. Oxford: Osprey, 2002;
    Warner, Denis, and Peggy Warner. T he Tide at Sunrise: A History of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905. London: Frank Cass, 2002.
   STEPHEN K. STEIN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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